Will “Bones” be done piecing together cases on Fox this spring? Just like when we focused our Ratings Debate feature yesterday on “Castle,” we are turning today to another show in a most unusual situation. After all, we are not looking at a product here that is facing strictly a renewal / cancellation issue; it is also facing a contractual one related to stars David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel. The show has to figure out the cost of paying its stars, and then also whether or not the current ratings justify more episodes. Having it off the air for so long made it even harder for a decision to be made.
Before we come to our own conclusion, we want to present at least two different sides to the debate. However, we have to keep in mind throughout that this is not an episode of “Bones,” and we cannot provide you with a definitive answer. Instead, this is a forum for speculation.
Why to keep it – First and foremost, consistency. It’s a show that has performed well on almost every night of the week including Fridays, and also is watched on syndication, on-demand, and a variety of other places. It’s beloved! Booth and Brennan have more fans than the majority of other crime-fighters on TV, and there is a general consensus that this show deserves an end. It’s the longest-running drama Fox has, and given that they gave a fitting end to “Fringe” with a much shorter run, they should really do the same here.
Also, we don’t get the sense that either Emily or David is completely restless in their role and wants to leave. While Emily is expecting her second child and she may need a maternity leave, why not pick up filming later in the fall when she is ready? A 22-episode 11th season may not be possible, but we’d advocate for 13. We’d even be fine with it on Fridays, since the show actually fared pretty well there (it was getting better ratings than it is now on Thursdays).
Also, one other argument: What else does Fox really have? “Empire” is huge, but “Gotham” is only a modest hit, “Sleepy Hollow” is sinking, “Backstrom” and “The Following” are more or less dead,” and “American Idol” is a corpse of its former self. Brennan probably needs to be sent in to investigate it.
Why to cancel it – The ratings aren’t what they once were, and any show a decade old is not cheap to make anymore. Yes, we know it is easy to rant and rave about how much TV actors make, but if a show is generating a huge share of money, they deserve a big stake of it given that they are one of the primary reasons people watch. Also, there could be a feeling somewhere that the show has run its course given that Pelant is dead, Booth and Brennan are married, and they’ve emerged from one problem after another.
Our prediction – It’ll be back. We don’t think the show has another three or four years left, but we feel like Fox owes it to themselves and to the fans to at least give us one more chapter, even if it is a shortened final season.
What do you want to see happen with “Bones”? Vote in our poll below, and head over here if you want to see some other Ratings Debate pieces! Also, sign up now to score some other TV updates on all we cover via our CarterMatt Newsletter. (Photo: Fox.)